Asia Pacific Breweries has posted a "very satisfactory" set of results for its third quarter, despite a plunge in sales in China.

The Heineken/Fraser & Neave joint venture said today (7 August) that attributable net profit before exceptional items (APBE) rose by 34% in the three months to the end of June to SGD42.5m (US$30.7m). Organically, APBE rose 54%. Group profit before interest and tax (PBIT) increased by 28% (49% organically) to SGD78.7m.

For the nine-month period to the end of June, APBE grew by 20% to SGD132.9m, while PBIT reached SGD247.7m, up 18% on the corresponding period last year.

While specific sales figures were not released, the company noted that volumes in China dropped by 23% mainly due to the divestment of its stake in Jiangsu Dafuhao Breweries in June, and "intense competition". "Loss stood at S$2.8m (in China), attributable to lower volume, shift in product mix and increases in material costs." the APB said.

"Building on the positive momentum in the first half of the financial year, very satisfactory results were achieved for the third quarter and nine-month period," said APB's CEO, Koh Poh Tiong. "Turning in a sterling performance, our Indochina cluster (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) continued to lead. Other growth engines included Papua New Guinea and Singapore.

"This positive trend is likely to flow into the remaining fourth quarter; and, barring any unforeseen developments, we expect our full year attributable profit (before exceptional items) to exceed that of last year."